Carl Cori


Carl Ferdinand Cori

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Carl Ferdinand Cori
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1947

Born: 5 December 1896, Prague, Austria-Hungary (now Czech Republic)

Died: 20 October 1984, Cambridge, MA, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Washington University, St. Louis, MO, USA

Prize motivation: “for their discovery of the course of the catalytic conversion of glycogen”

Prize share: 1/4


Carl Cori was born in Prague in what was then Austria-Hungary. He received his PhD in medicine from the German University of Prague's Medical School in 1920 and married classmate Gerty Radnitz later that same year. The couple moved to Buffalo, New York in the United States in 1922 and began researching the metabolic mechanisms. They later moved to Washington University in St. Louis in 1931 after both were offered positions there, Carl as a professor. A few years after Gerty's death in 1957 Carl married Anne Fitz-Gerald Jones, and later concluded his career at Harvard University.


Carl and Gerty Cori took an interest in how the body utilizes energy. In 1929, they described what is known as the Cori cycle; an important part of metabolism. Lactic acid forms when we use our muscles, which is then converted into glycogen in the liver. Glycogen, in turn, is converted into glucose, which is absorbed by muscle cells. The pair continued to investigate how glycogen is broken down into glucose and, in 1938-1939, were able to both identify the enzyme that initiates the decomposition and also to use the process to create glycogen in a test tube.

To cite this section
MLA style: Carl Cori – Facts. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2023. Wed. 6 Dec 2023. <>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Streams during Nobel Week

Watch the 2023 Nobel Prize lectures, the Nobel Prize Concert, Nobel Week Dialogue, the prize award ceremonies in Oslo and Stockholm and Nobel Peace Prize Forum here at
Watch lectures and award ceremonies

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.